Digital Tradition Mirror

Prison of Newfoundland

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Prison of Newfoundland

Ye lads and lassies of Newfoundland come listren to my sad tale,
While I relate the hardship attending St. John's jail;
And being a stranger in this land I'll do the best I can
To relate the hardship I endured in the Prison of Newfoundland.

On the twenty-fourth of October to this country I first came,
On a British brig drom Baltimore, the Paragram by name
And being consigned to Harvey's Wharf a cargo for to land,
Which bitterly caused me to regret on my voyage to Newfoundland.

The day of my trial, it would grieve your heart full sore,
To see how Danial Hickerdy so falsely on me swore;
Judge Carter passed my sentence, those words to me did say,
"Six months on hard bread and water in the penitentiary."

When my sentence it was passed, they marched me off to jail.
Down in the penitentiary the winter for to stay
Where I found comrades plenty as you may understand,
Which bitterly caused me to regret my voyage to Newfoundland.

The prison was situated by the side of a lovely pond;
Often as I sat and sang like a mocking-bird alone,
Watching the lads and lassies, how they used to sport and play
Through the iron bars of my window in the penitentiary.

One night as I lay fast asleep all in my prison cell,
I dreamed I was in old Ireland, the land I used to dwell;
THose pleasant dreams disturbed my rest as you may understand,
I woke quite broken-hearted in the Prison of Newfoundland.

Now my song is to a close as you may understand,
Johnny Doyle it is my name, Old Ireland is my land.
I served my time on the Black Ball Line since ever I went to sea,
And now at last I am caught fast in the penitentiary.

From Old-Time Songs of Newfoundland, Doyle

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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